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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 1, 2010 3:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

The Grateful Dead (and friends) play Merle Haggard discography

Merle Haggard
merle-haggard.jpg

Recently I posted here a cadre of musicians & artists. Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings are shown in a photo. But Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard aren't shown or mentioned. These 5 outlaws belong together in a cadre. On July 21, 2010, PBS released a new episode of American Masters on Merle Haggard. His most notable early era band was Merle Haggard and The Strangers. The film doesn't disclose accurately, as Deadheads will immediately point out, Merle Haggard's songs Mama Tried was performed over 300 times by GD, and Sing Me Back Home was performed around 400 times by GD. The film leaves an impression that Merle is straight country and western. Maybe it's true this is his legacy. What wasn't emphasized nearly enough in this documentary is Merle Haggard's amazing contribution to Western Swing music. Western Swing Music is also known as Texas swing, cowboy swing, or country swing. The music was made famous by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.

Buscolor.jpg

"Truly, it was the middle of nowhere, the unlikely little Texas town of Turkey that folk, country, cowboy, jazz and blues began to mix together in the mind of young Bob Wills, who would lead the way in a sound we now call Western Swing." Merle Haggard played with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, including some great albums. As a hopped-up music lover, I have always loved western swing music. It is incredibly exciting, and lots of fun. There are so many great tunes. Did The Grateful Dead ever play any Western Swing tunes? What about Jerry or Pigpen? Here's a timeless love song with very simple lyrics.

Bob Wills
willpicbw.jpg

Cherokee Maiden was recorded by Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys in 1941
then it was recorded by Merle Haggard - in 1976, #1 on the charts
Cherokee Maiden was written by Cindy Walker


instrumental Intro...

One night when the moon was bright on the moonlit bay.
That is where I found my little Cherokee maid.
The memory of the that night of love, is lingering yet.
And I know I never will forget.


chorus...
My little Cherokee Maiden, I love her so.
And though we're far apart.
I know I'll never be tradin' my love for her,
For anybody else's heart.
Someday I'll make a trip back to that Cherokee Strip,
And I'll carry her away with me.
And straight as an arrow flies,
We'll ride to paradise,
My sweet little chickadee,
My little Cherokee Maiden and me.


instrumental break...

chorus...
My little Cherokee Maiden, I love her so.
And though we're far apart.
I know I'll never be tradin' my love for her,
For anybody else's heart.
Someday I'll make a trip back to that Cherokee Strip,
And I'll carry her away with me.
And straight as an arrow flies,
We'll ride to paradise,
My sweet little chickadee,
My little Cherokee Maiden and me.


Cherokee Maiden - recorded by Merle Haggard in 1976, 2:55
YouTube clip with soundtrack

Cherokee Maiden - MP3 - Lazy River in 1976, 2:32
SBD > Nakamich 550 w/ Dolby NR > C-90 cassette
my vault today > uncirculated MC > Nakamichi LX-3 > Samplitude > CD Tag > vbr MP3
Monte was the soundman, taper, hippie, gypsy, and wandering minstrel with these misfits

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Aug 1, 2010 4:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

Great post, thanks for the info. To me, GD cowboy tunes lost that western swing sound when Mickey re-joined. Always a little bit of rock and roll, what's the chord Jerry plays on the last note of me and my uncle in the fall of '72? So spooky and I've only heard it from fall '72 shows, 9/27 in particular

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Poster: ice9freak Date: Aug 1, 2010 4:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

Merle's the man, I have to say. I'm not surprised the documentary twisted things in the direction of country western straight-laced legend. That probably sells better, no? Big City and Land of Many Churches are two Haggard records I enjoy regularly, but I'll take Cash, Willie, or Waylon over Merle any day. Personal preference, I suppose.

ps. Monte, shouldn't it be 40 times for Sing Me Back Home? (Deadbase shows 39) I wish 400 though! Imagine it coming out of space in '89! :)

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 1, 2010 5:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

I did not research this. This stuff has been eating at me since this film about Merle came out recently. A good GD discography source was what I used, Merle Haggard / GD on this web page:

"Mama Tried was performed over 300 times by the Grateful Dead between 1969 and 1995. It has also been performed by The Dead, Ratdog and Phil Lesh & Friends." Seems reasonable to me.

"Sing Me Back Home was performed around 400 times by the Grateful Dead between 1971 and 1973."

Well, Sing Me Back Home must be a typo then. I copied & pasted it that way. Didn't even hit my radar. Funny!

I guess it's accurate to say GD's cowboy songs are country rock, and not country swing. Mexicali Blues, even though it's a polka, comes close to western swing. I love this polka more than any other. I consider NRPS to be "country rock". GD can do that. But when GD does Jack Straw or El Paso on a good night, well, that's GD cowboy songs that get me going. Never forget the Allman Brothers Band with Duane!

According to Millie Clements, Vassar's wife, Vassar Clements was the king violinist of Hillbilly Jazz music. Hillbilly jazz is the same thing as western swing. Vassar played with Jer and Grisman on the Old & In The Way album. Vassar also played on Wake of The Flood album.

I have to believe that Jer and Vassar and Grisman must have jammed on some western swing at one point. Vassar's discography source.

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2010-08-02 00:23:15

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Poster: Street Pig ! Date: Aug 1, 2010 5:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

So many imnfluences, folk, blues, jazz swing rock that was the attracting factor of their music. People accused Deadheads of listening to nothing but Dead music. If anything it broaden my listening scope, love Hilbilly Jazz with Bromberg/Vassar, also the Marin County Bluegrass festival of 74 also OIDTW

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Aug 2, 2010 9:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

Mele was/is fantastic, but I LOVE Bob Wills . I'm not a drinkin' man, but when I listen to him, I want to be ! Bob Wills always makes me feel good . I am especially fond of his early, more rough, stuff .
I though I recall that the Dead's version of 'Sitting on top of the World' , came from a Bob Wills version, though to me sounds a bit more like Bill Monroe's .
One of the things that makes Merle a champ, is his attention and respect for Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, and Lefty Frizzell .

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Aug 2, 2010 12:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

bob_wills.jpg

Bob Wills died in 1975. Another great cowboy music artist we've not mentioned is Hank Williams. Mr. Williams wrote some incredible songs. Timeless. Hank died in 1953.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys version of Dancin' in The Streets might be the song, Stay All Night, Stay A Little Longer - by Bob Wills & Tommy Duncan. Willie Nelson recorded it in 1973.

chorus:
Stay all night, stay a little longer
Dance all night, dance a little longer
Pull off your coat, throw it in the corner
Don't see why you can't stay a little longer.


some surviving Texas Playboys - 1985 - perform downtown Austin, Texas
Stay All Night - YouTube clip

Bob Wills' and Tommy Duncan's original recording - great photos in slide show
Stay All Night - YouTube clip

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Poster: 219mid Date: Aug 2, 2010 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

I recall Garcia saying that their version of Sitting on Top of the World was based on a version by Carl Perkins that I've never heard. The coolest Wills recordings are the Tiffany Transcriptions, which were made after WWII in the Bay Area (there's something in the air). Since they were made on large 16" transcription discs, the cuts could be longer than a 78. They also feature the guitar of Junior Barnard, one of the first electric guitarists with the overdriven amp sound that is familiar today. My friend went to California to do an article on the Bakersfield music scene and got to interview Roy Nichols. I will humbly say that I predicted before he left that Roy's main influences were Junior Barnard and Charley Christian, and that's what it turned out to be.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Aug 2, 2010 12:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Merle Haggard and Grateful Dead - did Jer dig Bob Wills?

The Tiffany Transcriptions are great . They have and almost live, goofin; feel .
Less brass, more guitar . Lots of fun tho be had there !